This is not something to be taken on lightly. It is not a hobby but an investment you make for life (yours and theirs). You cannot stop just because it seems hard (and it is hard) or because you get tired. Children depend on you to help them become productive citizens and raise children of their own.
There is no one size fits all guide for raising children but, there are standard principles that apply to all child raising. The best way to begin is to make a plan for how you want your children raised and the amount of disciple you are willing to instil in them. You need to decide how much of the raising you are willing to do yourself and how much you are willing to allow a daycare to do. It is so very much easier when there are two parents because then they can work together reducing the effort each puts in and increasing the ability for each to get a well-deserved break without quitting.
Start an early routine and read to your child.
After dinner and before bedtime when it is time to wind down is the best time to read to children. Try to read out loud at least for 30 minutes. This helps them develop mentally as they hear the stories and creates in them a desire to read the stories for themselves. This will increase their academic success and help modify their behavior.
Eat meals together
Everyone has a busy schedule and it is not always convenient to share a meal as a family but it is still important. Schedule at least three meals nights a week together and try for more. This is a time for open communication about the day’s activities and making plans for the future together. This is the time to pass on family history and moral values. Get your children involved by asking about their ideas for the next meal together and about their life stories. Children usually love to talk about themselves.
Plan to help your child develop a new skill each week. There is no need to sign your child up for a dozen activities which will overwhelm you both. One or two a week should be enough over a long period. Art is most likely the easiest while soccer or playing catch outside is more active for those with energy to burn off. Encourage them in whatever they are doing with words of praise. Children should spend at least 60 minutes a day in active playtime.
Be an active listener
This is a skill learned early and will give you benefits later on when your child seeks you out because they know you will listen to them and understand them. If you tune them out when they are complaining about something important to them you will miss opportunities for meaningful guidance. Treat them with respect for their feelings. If you make a promise to take them to the pool the park or a movie, keep it; even if you’re tired.
Set reasonable limits
You should know going in that your child will occasionally ignore your limits. They will test you to see if you really mean them. Reasonable disciplinary action or punishments will help instil values in them. If you act as if you do not care, neither will they and they will grow up to suffer the consequences of disrespecting authority later in their lives. Being consistent in your discipline can be hard but it is necessary. You cannot punish them for breaking a rule one day and ignore it the next because you’re too busy. Teach your child that bad behavior comes with bad consequences just as good behavior earns good consequences.
Model good manners
You want your child to say “please” and “Thank you” so you should do the same with them and others who enter your house our while you are out in public. Your child is watching you all the time to see how you treat others. They will model your actions more than your words. “Do as I say not as I do” does not work well in raising children. As you demonstrate kindness, joy, happiness, thankfulness and self-control; your child will also model these when surrounded by other children and adults. If you make a mistake and say something hurtful to your child, apologize and ask for forgiveness. Your children will forgive you quickly and then ask for you to forgive them when they do something wrong as they follow your example.
I could go one for many more pages but I believe this is a very good start. If all parents did just these few things there would be a great deal less stress in the world.